First Friday at Kump Education Center

Now that Kump Education Center is included in the Elkins Main Street District, we are planning First Friday activities for each summer month.

Friday, June 7 will be a time when children can help plant a small garden bed at Kump Center and learn why bee hives help gardens grow. Each First Friday will be a time for family entertainment, healthy foods, and outdoor fun. Self-guided tours of the historic Kump House will also be available.

In June we plan for children to help set out plants in the raised beds that have been established at the bottom of the old Kump garden. Each First Friday this summer when kids return to Kump Education Center, they will have opportunities to see how the gardens change month to month.

Good gardens require planning in the spring and regular attention all summer.

Naturalist Pam Byrn will explain how flowers serve as “pollination stations” in the life cycle of plants.

Ms. Byrn will point out that we could not have pumpkin pies in the fall if we did not have pollinators working in the spring. Children will participate in a game using “pollen beads” to show how bees and butterflies carry pollen from flower to flower.

The healthy foods for June will be garden fruits and vegetables in salads and desserts for families to sample.

People will be amazed at the progress inside the historic Kump House these days. First Friday events this summer will be the best times to take self-guided tours of the historic first floor where Eleanor Roosevelt visited in the 1930s. The property has not been open to the public for the last year because it has been undergoing renovation.

With the help of a grant from the WV Historic Preservation Office, the whole house has been rewired including the original light fixtures from 1925.

The electrical project made 95 holes in the plaster, but AmeriCorps members have patched the holes and repaired water damage that has occurred over time. Fresh paint, clean rugs, and curtains make the historic first floor look like new.

Last fall two new gas boilers were installed to warm water in the old brass radiators, and heat was on at the Kump home for the first winter since Gov. Kump died in 1962.

The City-owned Kump property at the intersection of five highways is now part of the Elkins Main Street District. The rooms can be rented for events, and the building will be open each month for First Friday.

Kump Education Center also offers Summer Science Sessions for kids in the YMCA Day Camp.

By 2020 we expect to be able to offer educational programs inside our historic building throughout the year.

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